January 8, 2015

New refrigerator noises

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Noises from a new refrigerator.
Noises from a new refrigerator.

Today’s refrigerators make sounds you may not be used to. Here are some normal noises you might hear.

Normal operating sounds

  • Rattling or vibrating—Refrigerant flowing through the cooling system or water flowing through the water line.

  • A pulsating or high-pitched sound—Compressor or fans adjusting to optimize performance. They're different from the steady speed motors and fans you are used to on your old model.

  • Gurgling—Refrigerant pressure equalizing in the tubing.. You might also hear gurgling when you open or close the refrigerator or freezer door as water equalizes in the drain pan when air is forced through the tube.

Normal defrost sounds

  • Dripping—Water running into the drain pan in the back of the freezer compartment.

  • Sizzling or hissing—Water dripping on the defrost heater as it runs into the drain pan.

  • Popping or cracking—Wall inside the refrigerator contracting when the refrigerator cools for the first time or when it defrosts.

 Normal ice maker sounds

  • Buzzing—Water valve opening to fill the ice maker.

  • Thumping or hammering—Water supply line banging against the wall or back of the refrigerator during the fill cycle. If this sound seems excessive, check the supply line behind the refrigerator.

  • Cracking—Ice cubes being ejected from the ice make, followed by a crashing sound of the cubes falling into the ice storage bucket.

Keep in mind that hard surfaces, such as the floor, walls and cabinets, can amplify these sounds. Try adjusting the refrigerator's position or putting a mat on the floor to reduce the noise.

Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your refrigerator.

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By Sears PartsDirect staff

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How to change the water filter in an LG refrigerator

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